First things first
In the Gospel today, Jesus calls us to attention. His words “but I say to you...” perk my ears to listen. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity is about to say something to me. Be attentive. He speaks with authority and gives direction, not a recommendation. The direction is “go first and be reconciled with your brother, then come and offer your gift.” Jesus is not making a suggestion; he is commanding my attention to an interior change. The interior change is one of humility and generosity. As the psalmist says in 51:10, “A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.”
However, I am weak and file this away to check back in on later. I am too busy Lord to take the time to reconcile; I have so many things filling my day. Reconciling takes time, it takes inner conscientious examining. I have to work, clean, do the laundry, I have small children, when is there time to find to prune away this interior frustration that keeps growing like a tree? Plus, I did not do anything; it was my brother who offended me. Should not he come to me and be the one reconciling?
Silence. Silence is an anecdote to the many thoughts racing in my mind. Cardinal Sarah in his book the Power of Silence says, “but true silence is the silence of our passions, the heart purified of carnal impulses, washed of all our hatred and resentments, oriented toward the holiness of God.” I stop wherever I am in that moment, at the sink doing dishes, at my desk hitting a button to analyze data, whatever it is, and I quiet my internal self and say a quiet prayer, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”